Phillips & Angley

Issues to consider when planning a new development

Most new developments here in Massachusetts and elsewhere begin with the purchase of the land on which the construction or renovation will occur. If you are looking to purchase land for development, you will need to consider a variety of issues before committing to making an offer.

Failing to consider certain matters could end up halting development, complicating construction and costing a significant amount of money. For this reason, it would be a good idea to thoroughly scrutinize the situation before moving forward.

Understanding the following could make or break a project

Even if the location appears perfect for a particular project on the surface, underlying issues could cause delays and other problems if not understood from the beginning. It would help to consider the following:

  • Developers need to consider whether archaeological issues could affect a particular site. Massachusetts has a long and rich history going back centuries, and some findings could stop any proposed work for excavation and preservation of the site, which could also prevent further development.
  • Protecting the environment is a definite concern for many state and local governments, so any changes to the landscape and/or ecosystem may require careful navigation if parties need approval in order to continue with development.
  • Existing zoning laws for the area also require careful review in case parties need to make changes that would require approval before proceeding. This will add anywhere from 60 to 90 days or longer to the process and can be costly.
  • Concerns regarding wetlands, floodplains and more may require addressing before any work can begin on the site.
  • A thorough review of easements, access issues, deed restrictions and more can limit the potential use of the land, which would most certainly affect the plans for the development.
  • You will also need to make sure that utilities and access are available. If not, improvements or installations may be necessary before you can do anything else to the site.

The above are not the only considerations you will need to take into account before proceeding with the purchase of land for a planned development. Many of these issues can be rectified, but it will probably take some time, money and effort to do so. Working with an experienced land use, zoning and real estate attorney could help make the process go more smoothly and help ensure the project remains in compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws.

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